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Operation False Prophets, Chapter Seven: Humanity is a Non-Prophet Organization
Posted By: Ian Barnes<panzerschreck15@netscape.net>
Date: 31 March 2002, 7:01 pm

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     The transport glided to a halt, hover-brakes squealed as they forced the hover train to a standstill. Cortana monitored the Chief's vitals. His adrenaline levels were high, much higher than she had ever seen in any human. His heart rate was one hundred thirty beats per minute. John's helmet didn't twitch as he stared down the hallway ahead of him. The Master Chief had one thing on his mind. He moved out from the room, and into the next hallway. He ran; sprinting down the hallways, skidding as he rounded corners. Five minutes had gone by, and still no Covenant contact.
     Six minutes, seven minutes and still nothing. The Chief had run through kilometers of hallway, when finally John found a door, and slid it open. John slapped his helmet to make sure he wasn't seeing things. He was back at the room he had left minutes ago. John hung his head, and wheeled about, and headed back through the door. Cortana spoke up.
     "Chief, I'm going to scan the walls, there must be a door hidden somewhere. There is no way the Covenant would build all this, unless..."
     Cortana was interrupted by the hissing of doors, and twelve Special Operations Elites stepped out of hidden doors, all wielding Fuel Rod Guns, and inside this hallway, John knew they wouldn't miss if they started firing.
     The lead Elite began charging his weapon. John reacted. In a blur, his arm moved to his belt, behind his head, then forward. The Elite growled in surprise, and seconds later, that Elite and several others went up in a ball of plasma as the Fuel Rod Blast impacted the Plasma Grenade wedged into the barrel. The remaining eight Elites panicked, and ran. They were fast, but it didn't matter. John was faster. The energy blade flared the life, and John cut down the closest Elite, and it crumpled with a thump as its body impacted the cold floor. John hurled a Plasma Grenade at the Elite leading the pack. It stuck, and the Elite twisted and writhed trying to tear the grenade away.
     Several of the other Elites hadn't noticed, and kept running. Six Elites were engulfed in a blast of Plasma. Two remained, and were so horror stricken, their legs couldn't be willed to move if their life depended on it. John smiled at the irony. Two bodies, four pieces of body hit the floor with one slash from the Plasma Sword. John felt he had found the perfect weapon.
     The Master Chief backtracked a little bit, and found the hidden doors that were open, and proceded into them. John walked for a minute, and found himself at a large steel blast door. The door was locked, and there was a passcode.
     "Cortana, little help here."
     "Accessing. Got it, open at your own risk."
     John pushed a green holo-symbol, and the door creaked and slid open, revealing an enormous cavern. It must have been ten kilometers in diameter, and almost twice that high. At the very top of the cavern was a small room, attached to the ceiling. That must be where the Prophets are holed up. In the center of the cavern was a grav-lift, and below was an enormous pit. There was one small, thin catwalk leading to the grav-lift suspended above the chasm.
     Guarding the Lift were four Elites. But the Chief didn't recognize them from anywhere else. Their armor was a deep purple, and they wielded a ferocious looking weapon. It was a long staff, on one end was what almost looked like a modified plasma pistol, and on the other end, a plasma sword which glowed a deep red. They grunted, and chuckled to each other as they chatted, but at the same time keeping track of every change in their surroundings. They looked tough. John needed a plan.
     The Master Chief knew these Elites wouldn't be just normal Elites. They would be the best of the best, if they were guarding the Prophets. John probably wouldn't be able to outsmart them, or outgun them. He had to think of something they wouldn't be expecting. John was reminded of a quote his old CPO, Mendez, had once told him.
     "You can't win or lose if you choose not to play a game."
     John wondered, would it be possible to charge onto the platform and get onto the lift before the aliens cut him down? Once John had the Prophets as hostages, would the other Covenant stand down? Probably not. The Covenant would most likely stay with John, and try to ambush him as he left, or something clever. John wondered, were the Prophets a big hoax? What if this was all an elaborate set-up? The Covenant had made enormous sacrifices just to get what they wanted before. The Master Chief was reminded of Sigma Octanus, or Reach. Covenant ships only tried to provide distractions, they were willing to take huge losses to accomplish a goal. John hoped this was not a set-up, the Prophets seemed to be humanity's only hope of peace. John quietly told Cortana his plan, and she had disapproved, but finally silenced when John had asked her for ideas, and she came up empty.
     Cortana continued to monitor the Chief's adrenaline levels and heart rate. His adrenaline level was so high, if it got any higher, it was possible it could become fatal. John's heart rate was well over four hundred beats per minute. John's previously recorded maximum heart rate was just over four-hundred. Cortana cringed, how much energy could his heart put out before it gave? She could only guess that if it went much higher, he would be in trouble.
     John composed himself, plasma rifle in one hand, plasma sword in the other, deactivated. He ran, so fast his green blur stretched for twenty meters. John watched the Elites. He was almost there. One hundred meters, ninety, eighty, seventy, then an Elite turned toward the catwalk, only to be completely bowled over by a green, two-ton man. The impact knocked out the Elite's shields, and the beast itself flew back ten meters.
     John's plasma sword flared to life, and he hurled it at the nearest Elite. The Master Chief expected the sword to impale the creature, instead, it bounced off harmlessly. But it was too late for the aliens, John lept twenty meters through the air onto the grav-lift, and floated upwards to his target.
     The three Elites, as well as the fourth, who had gotten back up, swung their staffs around, and fired dozens of plasma rounds at John as he ascended into what seemed like the Heavens.
     In the confusion of all the firing, the Elites didn't notice when another being jumped onto the lift, and ascend upwards.
     As soon as John entered the room, he made a quick circle, checked his six, and moved out. Seconds later, John's shadow came through, and raced into the darkness. In front of John were three rooms, the middle one seemed to house some sort of command center, while each one on either side was sealed. Those must be their quarters. John walked to the command center, found a place to insert Cortana, and did so.
     "Cortana, shut down the grav-lift, and try and get me schematics for this complex."
     "Affirmative Chief."
     "And Cortana, what's in the two adjacent rooms?"
     "Humanity's last hope."
     John nodded, checked his plasma rifle, and marched out of the control room, and towards one of the locked doors.